The staging and design of 'The Entertainer’ inspired a very different approach for the live broadcast. The intimacy of family life is set against the music hall performances of Archie Rice and to capture this continuous conflict we decided to film the whole play in one continuous shot, with one camera. Using a revolutionary camera rig that allowed us to move around the stage without interrupting the production, the cinema audience were treated to a continuous flow of images that gave them the experience of viewing everything from the single perspective of “best seat in the house”.
‘Compared to some other live theatrical broadcasts, there was only one relatively - static camera used. All shots came from the front of the stage, with small rotations to slightly reframe the picture and the occasional moderate zoom, usually on Branagh’s showman monologues. This camera work mimicked the views from the grand circle, putting the cinema audience in the best seats in the house. Additionally, this style did not constrict or shape the audience’s gaze on the action, as a close-up does. It was an excellent, unobtrusive style that well suited the production and the theatrical medium.’
- Carmen Paddock, Theatre Bubble 18